It’s Alright For You
The theme for this poem is Comparisons and essentially how frequently we compare ourselves with others.
This poem actually came about as a result of something a client said to me in a yoga class once and I’m sure the phrase: It’s alright for you, will resonate with pretty much everyone. As children we learnt that it was perfectly acceptable to compare our answers to someone else’s in order to determine whether we have understood correctly. Comparing ourselves to others is a very natural process and quite a normal part of the behavioural process of wanting to fit into the society in which we live. However, when we build a narrative around comparisons that are in fact projections of a mistaken belief, we can find ourselves feeling isolated and out on a limb and almost like we don’t fit in or conform to society’s rules at all.
There are many examples I could use but one which for me is of particular relevance. Throughout the pandemic of covid19 I was living in a studio flat on my own. This meant that through the periods of lockdown I felt pretty cut off. I know that I was not alone in feeling this way, but it led me down a depressing path of feeling hard done by. Listening to people talking about their gardens or, working at home, or simply starting their sentence with the word, ‘we’, meant that I felt more out on a limb and that: It’s alright for them…
When we start to compare, we will establish a range or a scale. What do they have that I haven’t and, what do I have that they don’t? For some reason, the needle gets stuck on the side of the gauge that has determined what we lack. Clearly the way in which we process thoughts will influence this, but we should be aware of when this thought process becomes a habit, therefore reinforcing damaging narrative. We can compare ourselves to others and be inspired too or compare ourselves to others and be grateful for our own circumstances. And so, with that in mind, enjoy the poem.
IT’S ALRIGHT FOR YOU
“It’s alright for you, Heather” my yoga client said.
“Your can do a posture when you’re standing on your head!”
“But how,” I asked my client, “does that ever signify…
That my life is just a breeze? Pray can you tell me why?”
Please understand a yoga posture will not change your life
Or mean that you’ll live trouble free and never meet with strife.
We can all look at other people’s lives and contemplate
The life that we’ve been saddled with when their life looks so great.
When standing on the outside looking in you might admire
Metaphoric diamantes and not see the deep quagmire
When gazing at the surface we simply cannot see
Just what someone has had to crawl through, so that they can be…
Where they are now. And their circumstances we perceive
Which mostly are imagined or whatever we believe
Comparisons to others is a rocky path that leads
To resentful, unfair narrative which sows a row of seeds.
That grows into a bed of weeds and starts to eat away
At our fragile self esteem and feeds into dismay
And suddenly we’ve become a victim of our circumstance
And we bang the drum and wave our flag of protest as we advance…
In this self-pitying parade, we exhibit the injustice of our lot
We compare the things that ‘they’ have, that we simply haven’t got.
Now it doesn’t take a genius and you can easily see
Why this behaviour’s harmful and not good for you or me.
And so we must learn quickly how we can appreciate
Our life’s gift and potential…before it is too late.
We’re not equipped to write the script for another’s own life story
Nor should we seek to tear them down and rob them of their glory.
Instead find inspiration as you walk in another’s shoes
And feel the blisters as they rub and then write your reviews.
So, when you think life’s easier in someone else’s skin
Remind yourself that you can never know what lies within…
The pages of their book that they have worked so hard to write
The myths and legends that we build are mostly out of sight.
And just like Marilyn Monroe in the film: Some Like It Hot
Sometimes we’ll all suck the fuzzy end of our life’s lollipop!